Within membrane processes, fouling is one of the critical issues affecting the productivity, plant operation and maintenance costs. Focusing on wastewater treatment processes, it has been reported that extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) are one of the main causes of membrane fouling. In membrane filtration research, sodium alginate often serves as a model compound for EPS. Sodium alginate is a hydrophilic unbranched binary copolymer. In the presence of divalent cations, e.g. Ca2+, alginates form complexes, which lead to a significant change in filtration mechanisms in dead-end filtration and also to a change in filtration performance during cross-flow filtration experiments. Filtration conditions (e.g. transmembrane pressure or cross flow velocity), feed composition as well as membrane material have a major influence on the fouling behavior of the system. In this study ceramic hollow fiber membranes were used due to their high chemical and thermal stability coupled with a high specific membrane surface. In addition to the evaluation of the filtration data using conventional cake filtration model, nuclear magnetic resonance ima ... mehrging was used to elucidate the influence of Ca2+ on the fouling layer structure for alginate filtration with ceramic hollow fiber membranes. In order to visualize the alginate layers inside the opaque ceramic hollow fiber membranes by means of MRI, specific contrast agents were applied. Supplementary to multi slice multi echo imaging, flow velocity measurements were performed to gain more insight into the hydrodynamics in the fouled membranes. MRI reveals the structure of the alginate layers and confirms the assumption obtained from the evaluation of filtration data, that the addition of Ca2+ is leading to the formation of an alginate gel layer on the membrane, whereas in the absence of Ca2+, the structure of the alginate layer is rather of concentration polarization manner, hence more fluid and hydrodynamically better controllable.